When it comes to picking the right tires for winter driving, it can be tough to decide whether you want to go with a true winter tire or a more practical all-season tire. If you choose the former, then you’ll have swap them out when the weather warms up for summer tires. But if you go the latter route, then you’ll have to make sure to choose the right one for your specific needs. Fortunately, Consumer Reports recently put together a list of the best all-season tires for winter driving.
Consumer Reports’ choice on various all-season tires
If you currently live in a snow state, then having to change out your tires twice a year can not only be a pain, but it can get expensive. Also, winter tires don’t tend to last nearly as long as all-season tires, so if you can get away with using year-round rubber, then it will not only be cost-effective because you won’t need to swap them out, but you’ll also get a lot more use out of them as the years go on.
Consumer Reports does their due diligence by testing 50 different tires every year for various cars, trucks, and SUVs on their 327-acre test track that includes testing braking and traction at an ice skating rink. They made it clear that if you live in the snow belt, and face harsh driving conditions in the winter, then winter/snow tires will be your best bet.
However, most of the people in the other parts of the country can get away with using all-season tires, as noted in the customer experience survey by Consumer Reports which showed that 50 percent of the 36,098 consumers put “all-weather grip” as the most important feature to them.
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These tires cover five different categories
At long last, here are the tires that Consumer Reports highlighted as some of the best all-season tires to pick for winter driving. As such, they divided them into five different categories: all-season, performance all-season, ultra-high-performance all-season, SUV all-season, and truck all-season.
Keep in mind that all-season tires, no matter the category, are designed to handle most driving conditions including dry and wet pavement as well as light and moderate snow. The tire listed below were chosen due to their ability to excel in snow traction and ice braking.
All-season tire: General Altimax RT43
Consumer Reports scored the General Altimax RT43 with the highest rating of 70, as compared to other all-season tires in the category including the Michelin Defender T+H and the Continental TrueContact Tour. The Altimax RT43 received “very good” scores in the hydroplaning, snow traction, and ice-breaking segments and also last around 80,000 miles.
Performance all-season tire: Michelin CrossClimate +
It’s no surprise that the Michelin CrossClimate + tires are at the top of the list in the “performance all-season” category as it received “very good” marks across the board and excels in snow traction, ice braking, and hydroplaning as well.
Ultra-high-performance all-season: Vredestein Quatrac Pro
While the Vredestein Quatrac Pro wasn’t at the top of the list in the “ultra-high-performance all-season” category – that spot was taken by the Goodyear Eagle Exhilarate – Consumer Reports still chose it as the best choice because it excels in snow traction, hydroplaning, and ice braking more than the others.
SUV all-season tires: Michelin CrossClimate SUV
The Michelin CrossClimate tires need no introduction and it’s no surprise that it was picked as the best performing SUV all-season tire for its excellence in snow traction and hydroplaning.
Truck all-season tires: Continental TerrainContact H/T
The Continental TerrainContact H/T tire not only topped the list of the “truck all-season” category, but it also scored really well in the snow traction and road noise categories.